Home>News Center>World
         
 

New Orleans mayor: Katrina may have killed thousands
(AP)
Updated: 2005-09-01 08:47

With thousands feared drowned in what could be America's deadliest natural disaster in a century, New Orleans' leaders all but surrendered the streets to floodwaters and lawlessness Wednesday and began turning out the lights on the ruined city perhaps for months, AP reported.

"We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said in calling for an all-out evacuation of the city's remaining residents. Asked how many died, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

The frightening estimate came as desperation deepened in the city, with gunfire crackling sporadically and looters by the hundreds roaming the streets and ransacking tiny shops and big-box stores alike with seeming impunity.

With most of the city under water, Army engineers struggled to plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags and concrete barriers, and authorities drew up plans to clear out the tens of thousands of people left in the Big Easy and practically abandon the below-sea-level city. Most of the evacuees including thousands now suffering in the hot and muggy Superdome will be moved to the Astrodome in Houston, 350 miles away.

Cars are piled up among debris from Hurricane Katrina Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005 in Gulfport, Miss. (AP
Cars are piled up among debris from Hurricane Katrina Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005 in Gulfport, Miss. [AP]
There will be a "total evacuation of the city. We have to. The city will not be functional for two or three months," Nagin said. And he said people would not be allowed back into their homes for at least a month or two.

If the mayor's death-toll estimate holds true, it would make Katrina the worst natural disaster in the United States since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, which have blamed for anywhere from about 500 to 6,000 deaths. Katrina would also be the nation's deadliest hurricane since 1900, when a storm in Galveston, Texas, killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people.

US President Bush flew over the ravaged city and parts of Mississippi's hurricane-blasted coastline in Air Force One. Turning to his aides, he said: "It's totally wiped out. ... It's devastating, it's got to be doubly devastating on the ground."

"We're dealing with one of the worst national disasters in our nation's history," Bush said later in a televised address from the White House, which most victims could not see because power remains out to 1 million Gulf Coast residents.
Page: 123



Death toll of Baghdad bridge stampede nears 1,000
Barretos Rodeo International Festival
Katrina hits US Gulf Coast
 
  Today's Top News     Top World News
 

New Orleans mayor: Katrina may have killed thousands

 

   
 

Baghdad bridge stampede kills 965

 

   
 

Sino-US textile talks fail to yield any result

 

   
 

Corruption behind coal mine woes targetted

 

   
 

Human rights deal with UN signals progress

 

   
 

China Southern Airlines to buy 10 Boeing 787s

 

   
  Baghdad bridge stampede kills 965
   
  New Orleans mayor: Katrina may have killed thousands
   
  Hariri probe focuses attention on Syria
   
  Israel OKs Egyptian troops on Gaza border
   
  EU agrees on need for quick clothing deal
   
  China: Six-party talks to resume from Sep 12
   
 
  Go to Another Section  
 
 
  Story Tools  
   
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?  
Advertisement